Summer means mushy, mediocre, boredom-inducing waves, but that doesn’t mean surfing is out of the question. It’s still worth heading out the beach with board in tow. If nothing else, you’ll look cool and radical — like you belong in in Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer. Think of that film as your summer surf road map — from the looks, to the cars, to the destinations. Summer is about adventure, and even if you’ve never surfed before, you should definitely try it. It’s a liberating feeling, moving forward under the power of mother nature’s magnum opus. Even in the dog days of summer, it’s never too late to explore your local break. For bonus points, drive there in a late ’40s International KB1 Panel Van or a Citroën 2CV.

Additional contribution by AJ Powell, John Zientek, Michael Finn and Tanner Bowden.

In-Water Essentials

Don’t be a kook.

The gear below will keep you comfortable in warm water, letting you get your toes wet on the small peelers that summer is known for. These aren’t your firing, big wave kits; they’re geared towards lazy mornings paddling out in the lineup at your local break. Each kit was put together with a different water temperature in mind, ranging from brisk dawn patrol paddles to balmy tropical sessions.

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UTF by Album $700+
Keel Fins by Push Fins $115
Leash by Dakine $24+
R1 Lite Yulex Front-Zip Full Suit by Patagonia $329
Ultratide by Nixon $300
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Over Easy Speed Egg by Degree 33 $675+
Fins by FCS $55+
2mm Vest by Need Essentials Learn More: Here
Birdwell Beach Britches by Todd Snyder $138
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Water Hog by Channel Islands Surfboard $769+
Fins by Push Fins $130
Leash by Dakine $24+
RØ Sun Tee by Patagonia $45
Nomadic Trunk by Outerknown $58
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The Bean by Solid Surf Co. $599+
The Aegean Towel by Tesalate $59
Leash by Dakine $24+
Dorry Boardshort by Pilgrim Surf Supply $98
The Five Best Surf Shops in the U.S.

Thalia Surf | Location: 915 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA | Learn More: thaliasurf.com
Pilgrim Surf Supply | Location: 68 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY | Learn More: pilgrimsurfsupply.com
Surf n Sea | Location: 62-595 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI | Learn More: surfnsea.com
Hansen Surfboards | Location: 1105 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA | Learn More: hansensurf.com
Ron Jon | Location: 4151 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL | Learn More: ronjonsurfshop.com

After Surf Essentials

Go from the waves to work in a blink.

Your warm-weather beachwear should be relaxed and simple. Solid-color board shorts are versatile; you can pair them with breathable button-front shirts and tees and go straight from the morning sand to a post-surf lunch in the city. Opt for casual footwear you can kick off once you hit the beach, and invest in some polarized sunglasses and a good hat to protect from those strong UV rays. There’s nothing precious here — things are going to get salty and sandy.

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Tradesmith Cap by Patagonia $35
Summer Camp Shirt by Outerknown Learn More: Here
Birdwell Beach Britches by Todd Snyder $138
Lowell Sunglasses by SALT. + North Sails $500
Classic Slip-On by Vans $50
Surfboard Bag by Dakine $50+
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Cool Rancher Hat by Camp Hero $65
Lopez Sunglasses by SALT. Learn More: Here
Outerknown Tee by Outerknown Learn More: Here
Dune Shorts by Mollusk $78
UltraRange Rapidweld by Vans $80
Ultratide by Nixon $300
Flip Pack by Kletterwerks $199
Inca Towel by Tesalate $59
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Parkhurst Sunglasses by Raen $170
Pilgrim Team Embroidered Tee by Pilgrim Surf Supply $65
Dorry Board Short by Pilgrim Surf Supply $98
Universal Suede Sandal by Teva $80
R2 Arkiv Field Pack by Mission Workshop $235
Acapulco Towel by Tesalate $59
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Canyon Hat by Saturdays NYC $50
Richmond Sunglasses by David Kind $295
Linen Ventura Shirt by Faherty $148
Nomadic Trunk by Outerknown $58
Huntington Middie by SeaVees $108
The Aegean Towel by Tesalate $59
Wax by Sticky Bumps Learn More: Here
Cold Weather Surf Gear

How to catch the best waves with the fewest crowds (without freezing). Read the Story